Activision makes Bizarre acquisition

Santa Monica-based publisher acquires Project Gotham Racing indie developer as part of "ongoing strategy to enter new genres."


At the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Activision surprised the industry by announcing its acquisition of Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane. The buyout proved more than fruitful, with Guitar Hero II selling more then a million copies in the US alone. Today, Activision set its sights on the racing genre, announcing its acquisition of Bizarre Creations, developer of the popular Project Gotham Racing series.

Previously, the Santa Monica-based publisher has only ventured into the racing genre twice, with middling success. In 2002, Activision released Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. In 2004, the publisher put out MTX Mototrax on the Xbox and PS2, with a PlayStation Portable version following in 2006.

Bizarre Creations, on the other hand, has been in the racing business for more than 10 years. Debuting with Formula 1 on the original PlayStation in 1997, the independent developer first made a name for itself with Project Gotham Racing on the Xbox in 2001. The fourth iteration in the Microsoft-exclusive street racing series is set to hit store shelves next week. Bizarre Creations has two other projects currently in development: Geometry Wars: Galaxies for later this year on the Wii and Nintendo DS, and The Club for the PS3 and Xbox 360, which is slated for next February.

While the terms of today's deal were not disclosed, Activision said that Bizarre Creations is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the company and that Bizarre's management team and employees would continue working on its current projects.

Expressing enthusiasm for the acquisition, Activision CEO and chairman Robert Kotick said, "Bizarre Creations is the leading independent developer with a proven track record in developing highly successful and influential original properties, especially in the racing field. They are one of the most innovative and creative studios in the industry, and we are very excited to welcome this talented creative team to Activision."

As for what the deal means to Bizarre Creations, a posting on the company's Web site assures its fans that it will be business as usual for the studio--with one big exception. "Our future titles can be on whatever we please--we are a truly multiplatform studio now," the company said. Bizarre also said that it would soon begin work on two games for Activision, a racing game and a "character game," with its first offering to arrive in 2009.

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Avatar image for Dmg051793

Just think about it. Activision is going to sell off or close Bizarre. The masterminds who made amazing PGR games, Who made Geometry Wars, Who made Blur... will now be gone. And now Budcat too. What do you think will happen to Bungie in a few years? D:

Avatar image for billeadan

"Eh i think this is bad news,Bizarre makes quality games...Activision ahsn't for....well i don't think activision has ever produced/published a quality game." Actually Activision publish COD4 which is great games and have done some pretty cool stuff. Its still a bit dodgy losing them to a cross platform developer. Will this mean generic cross platform graphics? Well thats Bungie, Bizarre and Moore! Looks like people are leaving Microsoft in the droves! This is not good! Hoepfully Microsoft play it smart and pick up some new ideas and developers to replace them. I really don't want to see Halo 4 and PGR5 on PS3. That would gut me, and I bet they would both be crap!

Avatar image for Blortag4784

First, Bizarre was NEVER owned by MS. Only PGR series was exclusive because MS bought the rights. That's why geometry wars was coming to Wii and DS before this happened and that's why The Club was also coming to PS3 and 360 before this happened. This is a good thing because under Activision this INDEPENDENT developer will now have more money and resources at its disposal. Unless Activision starts taking control and telling them what they can and can't do, but Activision really doesn't have that kind of track record.

Avatar image for thekey

Also no worries PGR is a MS game, bizzar is a developer. So PGR 5 will still be on 360.(Atleast I think)

Avatar image for thekey

Karaam "honestly I find PGR to be basically boring and a total rip off of gran turismo. i never liked it, the controls suck and thats about it." I can tell from you post that you never played PGR at all. Because if you did you would know that it's anything but a Gran Tourismo rip-off it plays nothing like Grand tourismo.(It's actually fun) and it never was about buying a new muffuler, or exaust pipe, it was about style and speed. (IT'S an arcade racer Not a sim.)

Avatar image for boyakasha_1988

MS owns the IP of PGR so no worries.. i wont go multi platform...

Avatar image for Karaam

honestly I find PGR to be basically boring and a total rip off of gran turismo. i never liked it, the controls suck and thats about it.

Avatar image for Fenriswolf

Maybe Activision will carve out some sort of deal with MS to make it remain X360 exclusive ala Gears of War or KOTOR.

Avatar image for anavailablename

Microsoft owns the PGR franchise so the series won't be going multi-platform. Activision and Bizarre will have to create a new franchise to do that.

Avatar image for carl2tan

at least pgr4 is still 360 exclusive

Avatar image for iceteo012

For a moment there, I thought Activision has acquired Blizzard lol

Avatar image for tatinhawk

Great News!!! Way to go Activision!!

Avatar image for Nintendo_Man

Great news, hopefully the PGR games will come to the Wii.

Avatar image for Generic_Dude

Not a bad acquisition.

Avatar image for AlMar12345

This makes no sense, did M$ run out of $ lol, anyway sounds cool for PS3 owners, like me

Avatar image for hamnut

@Hotrod2142, if you look at the box art, it says Xbox 360 only.

Avatar image for HotRod2142

:lol: soon the 360 is going to have no exclusives like all there game r going 2 pc as well will any way I will be playing PGR4 on PS3! It's looking now that MS fanboys can't bash the PS3 anymore! what's next PS3 and wii is going to have live!

Avatar image for Pete5506

wow, this could be bad

Avatar image for slapme7times

racing games suck... there's just not enough variety. just race and race and race and race and race and.... pgr, gt, forza, sorry!

Avatar image for Sagacious_Tien

I guess 360 fanboys can wave goodbye to one of their most successful exclusive franchises.

Avatar image for Altmeister

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for radiocreed

Woohoo, PGR4+ for other consoles and possibly PC.

Avatar image for neonblueshadow

@Sidbob I find it a bit boring as well , however, Games like PGR and GT appeal mostly to racing game and car enthusiasts, having said that, I have a friend who loves PGR because they have Ferrari cars in it. Either way, I'm sure there will be many in the other platforms who will welcome this. For those of us that own both consoles, this is clearly of no consequence... I think only corporate fanatics will make something big out of this

Avatar image for x-2tha-z

This is good news for people who don't own a 360. The PGR games are awesome.

Avatar image for FVK

How could they leave out Dreamcast's Metropolis Street Racer out of this story?!?!! One of the best arcade racers ever and the real beginning of the PGR franchise? Anyway, here's to continuing to make great games regardless of who is handing out the development dough.

Avatar image for ghsacidman


Avatar image for sancezz

...why did Microsoft do that? Did somebody tick the wrong box or sign the wrong paper or something?

Avatar image for Vishvanath

I guess PGR 5 on the PS3 is exiting for some people. But I'm a Gran Turismo player.

Avatar image for squirtle4

I hate puns.... that one wasn't so bad though

Avatar image for Nintendoes

*Sigh* Another pun...

Avatar image for Cypher_187

newb16 "RMGreen the company who will make PGR 5 wil most likely be Activision but they have to get the rights and the help from Bizarre Creations. heh besides there is no way in hel1 that Activision could make those bad as$ graphics, maybee gameplay but not graphics." WTH are u talking about? No wonder your name has "newb" in it.

Avatar image for bluntiss

I jsut did the funniest thing in the world.. I called xbox support and this is how it went: Hello Ca nI speak with mr. gates please.. Rep says who? I said mr Gates I think his first nmae is bill.. She said that she is not going to be able to transfer me over to him and bla bla bla.. Sorry just some amusment for me

Avatar image for Sidbob

Does anyone else find PGR a bit boring? As a sole PS3 owner this doesn't excite me one bit.

Avatar image for runstalker

Now you get Bizarre games on all platforms. It's all good.

Avatar image for NightRain

What?? Ughh... Activision isn't as good as Microsoft... hope they don't ruin the PGR franchise...

Avatar image for KingJ2002

i hope pgr doesnt go the way of the dodo.

Avatar image for Bgrngod

"Looks like M$ will be looking for a new Car Franchise for the console after this, amazing they didnt pull this off." It's called Forza. There have been 2 so far.... :|

Avatar image for thekey

Oh well MS blew it. I guess Project Gothom 5 will be on PS3. Way to got MS.

Avatar image for grandpamurder

Damn it

Avatar image for lucky326

Looks like M$ will be looking for a new Car Franchise for the console after this, amazing they didnt pull this off.

Avatar image for drangel_jam

"airbus_a340_86 Formula one for the ps1 was the best" I agree, F1 '97

Avatar image for drangel_jam

How did MS let that happen!? They are so talented, I can't believe it. I hope MS still has the licenses of PGR and their best people.

Avatar image for HK-47-M4

I'm so glad Activision got them before EA did. I'd rather have Bizarre in Activision's hands than EA's. But I think this will be a small blow to Microsoft, seeing as how Project Gotham Racing was one of their important and successful franchises. Good news for Sony and Nintendo though.

Avatar image for twashington9737

Yup, PGR5 or, even, PGR4 on PS3 is gunna happen. I wouldn't mind.

Avatar image for HellsingSoldier

hmm, interesting.

Avatar image for RaiKageRyu

I would have assumed that M$ already owned Bizarre Creations by now. PGR is their flagship racer.

Avatar image for newb16

RMGreen the company who will make PGR 5 wil most likely be Activision but they have to get the rights and the help from Bizarre Creations. heh besides there is no way in hel1 that Activision could make those bad as$ graphics, maybee gameplay but not graphics.

Avatar image for pooladden

imagine pgr for wii ! activison good job!

Avatar image for hair001

I'm a little worried about this, as Activision could damage Bizzare, who have in the past been excelent. I hope they don't obviously. Either way, this is good news for activison and possibly good news for PS3 owners

Avatar image for airbus_a340_86

Formula one for the ps1 was the best

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